Wednesday’s practice might have been the first time Carolina Panthers rookie Keyarris Garrett looked anything like the player who led the nation in receiving yards last year at Tulsa.
Garrett, who went undrafted, seemed to get it together Wednesday after a rough start to training camp in Spartanburg.
He had probably his best practice as a Carolina Panther .
“He had a big day, and believe me, I was talking about it,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “I called some coaches over to talk about it.
“It’s not what you’re doing in the game but how you’re handling your opportunities on the practice field.”
The Panthers signed Garrett as a free agent after he wasn’t drafted following a 1,588-yard season in 2015. Some wondered why he wasn’t selected, and in training camp he dropped several passes.
Garrett had two catches for 17 yards in the first exhibition. He had no balls thrown his way last week in Tennessee despite playing 15 snaps.
Rivera said the next step for Garrett is to better understand the concepts of the several receiver positions.
“I think he relied on his great athletic ability, his natural skills when he was at the college level,” Rivera said. “But now in the league, you’ve got to be more precise and a better route runner. Your timing has to be so much more. He’s done that and you can see the development and growth.
“He’s a ways away from being the guy who can go out there and make a lot of things happen for you. …He’s a young guy that looks like he might have a good future.”